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Brogan Austin-Boone-Drake 
©Doug Wells

Brogan Austin Surprises Field For USATF National Title

Brogan Austin-Boone-Drake ©Doug Wells

Brogan Austin-Boone-Drake
©Doug Wells

Emma Bates ran away from her competition early Sunday morning in Sacramento, while Brogan Austin surprised the field with a furious finish, as the duo won the women’s and men’s title at the USATF Marathon Championships.

Courtesy USATF, for the full article and results, click here! Feature photo:Brogan Austin-Boone-Drake ©Doug Wells

 

The 2018 USATF Marathon Championships, hosted by the California International Marathon, are the tenth and final stop of the USATF Running Circuit season.

From the early miles Sunday, Bates set her pace and every other runner in the field decided to let the former NCAA champion go ahead.

Through the first 10 km, Bates established a 20 second lead, well ahead of the pack, while Bruce, Crouch, Krifchin and Lauren Masterson all ran together, 30 seconds up on the second chase pack.

 

With her victory, Bates passed Sara Hall for the lead of the USATF Running Circuit overall standings. Adding a whopping 37.5 points to her point total, Bates easily claimed the overall circuit title with 96.5 points, while Bruce’s effort added another 30 points to her total, giving her 60 points, moving her into third place overall.

Similar to Bates, Matt Llano would push the pace early on the men’s side, building a tremendous lead that looked at one point to be insurmountable. In the first 20 km, Llano built up a nearly one minute lead over the field, while looking strong and in control. Veteran Sergio Reyes and Wilkerson Given would give chase, putting themselves up 30 seconds on the large chase pack, which consisted of 20 men.

Over the next 5 km, Llano’s lead would continue to grow. Given and Reyes maintained their 2-3 positions, while the chase pack started to shake out a bit but still held more than 10 men in the pack.

By 35 km, Llano had a minute lead over Reyes, who dropped Given and the chase pack of ten men followed a minute behind him. With such little real estate left in the race, it seemed as though Llano was going to run away to a big win with a great time.

But then things started to shift. Llano started to slow and the large chase pack started to drive to the finish. Austin shot to the front of the group and hammered his way up to Reyes. Once he caught Reyes, his sight was set on Llano, a surprise to those watching along the streets of Sacramento and at home on USATF.TV.

With only a half mile to go, Austin continued to charge. Stride by stride Llano would lose his lead and Brogan could sense time was running out, one last push had to be made.

Shifting into one final gear, Austin passed Llano, and frantically ran through the line, crossing the finish victoriously in one of the finest finishes of the year for an American distance runner. The former Drake University runner finished in 2:12:38, while Llano had to settle for second in 2:12:59, having made the race and taken a calculated risk early that nearly paid off.

The chase pack continued to roll behind Austin and Llano, as a large group of runners worked together much of the way. ZAP Fitness Reebok teammates Josh Izewski and Joseph Stilin placed third and fourth in fantastic times of 2:13:14 and 2:13:19, putting a gap on fifth place Brendan Gregg of the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project over the final mile. Gregg would finish fifth in 2:13:26.

Brian Shrader took home sixth in 2:13:38, while 2017 fourth place finisher Anthony Costales earned another top ten performance in seventh with a mark of 2:13:28. Mick Iacofano finished eighth in 2:13:46, while Martin Hehir and Jarrett LeBlanc placed ninth and tenth, each crossing the finish in 2:13:49.

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou battles Molly Huddle in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium 
©Jim Kirby 2018

Wherever the Meet, Results Are the Same For Karissa Schweizer by Jim Kirby

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou greats her fans in  in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium  ©Jim Kirby 2018

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou greats her fans in in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium
©Jim Kirby 2018

Heusden-Zolder, Belgium may be a long way from the Dowling Catholic High School track where Karissa Schweizer first experienced success, and it may be further still from familiar “Audrey J. Walton Track” on the Mizzou campus, yet the results are still the same. Running internationally for the first time this July, Schweizer won her first overseas race in Kortrijk, Belgium, setting another personal best in the 1500m of 4:06.77 in the process. Only a week later she faced a much tougher international challenge that featured some familiar American names.

Feature photo: Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou battles Molly Huddle in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium ©Jim Kirby 2018

 

On a beautiful Belgium summer evening, Schweizer walked from the staging area onto the track for the women’s 5K event. She walked along with the rest of the field which included some of the best in the world, such as fellow Iowan and Olympian Shelby Houlihan and Olympian Molly Huddle and Olympic medalist Shalane Flanagan, who was on hand to pace Houlihan in her attempt to break the American 5K record.

Schweizer had an interesting new uniform on this evening as well. No longer wearing the familiar black and yellow of Mizzou, she now wore the uniform of The Bowerman Track Club, her new professional team, joining track giants like Flanagan and Houlihan. The subtle sign of different colors marked a new chapter in Schweizer’s career, ending months of anticipation and some nerves in deciding which pro team she’d run for.

 

“Excited to finally announce that I have signed with Nike and the Bowerman Track Club! Can’t wait to see what the future holds.” Schweizer talked about it after the race and added, “I’m really excited to start training with the Bowerman team. They have a really good framework going and I can’t wait to be a part of it!”

Kathy Schweizer, Karissa's mother watches race in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium  ©Jim Kirby 2018

Kathy Schweizer, Karissa’s mother watches race in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium
©Jim Kirby 2018

A large, enthusiastic crowd settled in for the women’s 5K, excited to see the international field and were not disappointed. Toeing the line, Schweizer, now an experienced veteran of big races, wore a calm yet focused stare, awaiting the gun. Karissa’s mother, Kathy, stood nervously along the fence. Even though she too had become a veteran of her daughter’s big races, there’s always a little anxiety at times like these for all mothers, no matter how many big races they watch their daughters run. Holding her phone tight to her ear, Kathy would nervously give a play by play of her daughter’s race to friends, family and former teammates via a conference call.

From the start, the race unfolded predictably as Houlihan and her pacers broke from the field in the first 200 meters, while Schweizer settled into the middle of the chase pack, staying just off the rail and out of trouble. Several laps in, a smaller chase group formed including Schweizer, Huddle and Emily Sisson, former NCAA National Champion. Up front, Houlihan was competing against the clock; meanwhile a second more competitive race battled on behind her.

With one lap remaining, Houlihan was on pace to break the record, while the battle for second was heating up and would be between Huddle and Schweizer. With 200 meters to go, Houlihan headlong into her famous finishing kick as Huddle and Schweizer were busy showing off ferocious kicks of their own.
As the crowd rose to its feet, they roared their approval for finishing efforts they were witnessing: Houlihan’s record breaking performance and the battle between Huddle and Schweizer finishing second and third respectively. After the race, Schweizer was quite pleased and proud of her third-place finish, setting yet another big personal 5K best in 15:02.44 and breaking another Missouri school record.

A satisfied Schweizer reflected on her race and European tour, not forgetting her college coach, Mizzou’s Marc Burns, who helped her get to this elite level. “I was very happy with the race. It’s been a stressful week with everything going on and I was glad I was able to clear my mind & have a good race! The whole goal for going to Europe was the set myself up for a fast 5k and Coach Burns put me in the best position for that.”

It appears no matter where Karissa Schweizer races, and for whatever team she runs, the results are the same and success will certainly follow.

Shelby Houlihan-SC EAST - ASU and Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou
©Jim Kirby 2017

Thursday, June 21 USA Track & Field Championship Preview

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou, Shelby Houlihan-SC East-ASU and Jenny Simpson-Webster City ©Mike Brynes 2017

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou, Shelby Houlihan-SC East-ASU and Jenny Simpson-Webster City
©Mike Brynes 2017

REIGNING OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST, 6 AMERICAN RECORD HOLDERS TO HIGHLIGHT FIRST-DAY ACTION

 

How’s this for an opening act on Day One of the U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Drake Stadium fans will be graced by the presence of four medalists from the 2016 Olympics and seven current American record holders.

Feature photo: Shelby Houlihan-SC East-Arizona St©Latinos Corriendo-2018

 

 

Finals are scheduled in six events, featuring a trio of current American record holders vying for titles in field events.

 

Preliminary qualifying rounds will be held in nine running events on the blue oval with Matthew Centrowitz, reigning Olympic gold medalist in the 1,500, headlining the men’s entries.

 

There are also four women’s American record holders on the track led by Molly Huddle, who is favored in the first running final – the women’s 10,000 scheduled at 7 p.m.

 

Emma Coburn(women’s steeplechase), Jenny Simpson(2 mile) and Ajee’ Wilson(800) are expected to lead the qualifying rounds in their respective races.

 

Centrowitz, who also won the 1500 at the 2016 World Indoor Championships, returns to Drake Stadium where he won his first U.S. Outdoor title in 2013. Since then he’s also won national outdoor titles in 2015 and 2016. Centrowitz became the first American to win the gold medal in the Olympics since Mel Sheppard in 1908.

 

Native Iowans Simpson(Webster City, Iowa) and Shelby Houlihan(Sioux City, Iowa) renew their rivalry in the first round of the women’s 1500 qualifying. Houlihan, who ran in the 5000 at the 2016 Olympics, won the women’s 1,500 at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., May 26 running in a then world-leading3 minutes 59.06 seconds, while upsetting Simpson who placed third-3:59.37.

 

Simpson has won seven career U.S. Outdoor national titles including the last four straight years in the 1,500.A three-time Olympian, Simpson became the first U.S. woman ever to earn a medal at the Olympics when she placed third in the 1500 at the 2016 Games in Rio DeJaneiro, Brazil. She won the gold medal at the 2011 World Outdoor Championships, while earning a silver medal in 2013.

 

Coburn, who will be seeking her seventh straight U.S. national title in the steeplechase dating back to 2011, set the American mark in the women’s steeplechase each of the last two years en route to becoming the first American woman to win the steeplechase at both the World Championships and Olympics At the 2017 World Championships in London, Coburn lowered here steeplechase mark to 9:-2.59, breaking her own American record of 9:07.63 set at the 2016 Olympics. She ranks No. 5 on the 2018 world list at 9:08.13.

 

Wilson, who won a silver medal in the 800 at the 2018 World Indoor Championships, ranks No. 2 on the 2018 world outdoor 800 list at 1:56.86 en route to a second—place finish at the Prefontaine Classic. May 26. Wilson has won six career U.S. national titles in the 800, including outdoor crowns in 2014 and 2017. She set the current American record of 1:55.61 at the 2017 Diamond League meet in Monaco.

 

First-round qualifying in both the men’s 800 and 1,500 feature all six runners who represented Team USA at the 2016 Olympics.

 

The men’s 1500 also includes Robby Andrewsand Ben Blankenship, who both competed at the 2016 Olympics, as well asLeo Manzanowho earned a silver medal in the 1500 at the 2012 London Olympics. Blankenship was fifth in the 1500 at the 2018 World Indoor Championships.

 

Clayton Murphy, who captured a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics,  joins fellow Olympic teammates Boris Berianand Charles Jockin the 800. But the trio will face strong challenges from Isaiah Harris(Penn State) whose time of 1:44.76 to win the NCAA Outdoor meet ranks No. 9 in the world as well as two-time USA Indoor champ Erik Sowinski.

 

The first round of the men’s 100 at 6:10 p.m. features four sprinters ranked among the top six on the 2018  world outdoor list along with current American record holder Tyson Gay(9.69).  Mike Rodgersand Isiah Young, rank No. 2  in the world at 9.92, while Ronnie Baker andNoah Lyles, are No. 5 on the world list at 9.93. Baker won the 60 at the 2018 World Indoor Championships. Lyles won the gold medal in the 100 at the 2016 World Junior Championships and he has run a world leading 19.69 in the 200 this season.

 

Aleia Hobbs, who won thee NCAA titles for LSU this past season, will lead the women’s sprinters in the 100 prelims. Hobbs won the 100 at the NCAA Outdoor meet after earlier anchoring the women’s 4×100 relay to a title. In March she tied the NCAA Indoor collegiate 60 record.

 

American record holders Kara Wingerand Keturah Orjiare favored in the women’s javelin and triple jump respectively.

 

Winger, a three-time Olympian will compete at 5 p.m., set the existing U.S. record of 218-8 in the 2010 USA Championships at Drake Stadium. She will be seeking her eighth national title in the event capturing championships in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

 

Orji, who set the American record of 48-3 ¼ in the triple jump at the 2016 Summer Olympics, will jump at 5:15 p.m. She closed out her collegiate career at Georgia by winning her fourth straight NCAA Outdoor triple jump title June 9. She also became just the third woman in NCAA Division I history to claim outdoor titles in the long jump and triple jump in the same season. Orji is ranked No. 5 in the world in 2018 in the triple jump, soaring 47-11 ¾.

 

Huddletook advantage of Almaz Ayana’s world-record pace to run an American record of 30:13.17 en route to a sixth-place finish in the 10,000 at the 2016 Olympics. The former 10-time NCAA All-American is aiming for her fourth straight national title in the 10,000. She was 11thin the 5,000 at the 2012 London Olympics and won both the 5,000 and 10,000 titles at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

 

The women’s discuss final at 2 p.m., features 2016 Olympians Whitney Ashleyand Kelsey Cardalong with 2012 Olympian Gia Lewis-Smallwood. Recent Arizona State graduate Maggie Ewenmade history by becoming just the fifth woman in NCAA Division I history to pick up outdoor titles in the shot put and discus in the same season, including being the first to do so since 2000. She captured the shot put title (62-10¾) just two days before winning the discus on her final throw (198-5). Ewen had already picked up the indoor shot put national title while setting collegiate records during the outdoor season in the hammer throw and the shot put.

 

Finals also will be held in the men’s 10,000-meter run (7:40 p.m.) featuring 2016 Olympian Shadrack Kipchirchir,—the top ranked American who owns the ninth fastest time in the world this season at 27:39.65 at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Stanford, Calif., May 3. Kipchirchir was ninth in the 10,000 at the 2017 World Outdoor Championships.

 

Look for 2016 Olympian Zachery Ziemek as the decathlon begins its opening day of competition.

 

The men’s 20k race walk will conclude Thursday’s opening session starting at 8:40 p.m.

Shelby Houlihan-SC East-Arizona St
©Latinos Corriendo-2018

Thursday, June 21 USA Track & Field Championship Preview-Mike Mahon

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou, Shelby Houlihan-SC East-ASU and Jenny Simpson-Webster City ©Mike Brynes 2017

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou, Shelby Houlihan-SC East-ASU and Jenny Simpson-Webster City
©Mike Brynes 2017

REIGNING OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST, 6 AMERICAN RECORD HOLDERS TO HIGHLIGHT FIRST-DAY ACTION

 

How’s this for an opening act on Day One of the U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Drake Stadium fans will be graced by the presence of four medalists from the 2016 Olympics and seven current American record holders.

Feature photo: Shelby Houlihan-SC East-Arizona St©Latinos Corriendo-2018

 

 

Finals are scheduled in six events, featuring a trio of current American record holders vying for titles in field events.

 

Preliminary qualifying rounds will be held in nine running events on the blue oval with Matthew Centrowitz, reigning Olympic gold medalist in the 1,500, headlining the men’s entries.

 

There are also four women’s American record holders on the track led by Molly Huddle, who is favored in the first running final – the women’s 10,000 scheduled at 7 p.m.

 

Emma Coburn(women’s steeplechase), Jenny Simpson(2 mile) and Ajee’ Wilson(800) are expected to lead the qualifying rounds in their respective races.

 

Centrowitz, who also won the 1500 at the 2016 World Indoor Championships, returns to Drake Stadium where he won his first U.S. Outdoor title in 2013. Since then he’s also won national outdoor titles in 2015 and 2016. Centrowitz became the first American to win the gold medal in the Olympics since Mel Sheppard in 1908.

 

Native Iowans Simpson(Webster City, Iowa) and Shelby Houlihan(Sioux City, Iowa) renew their rivalry in the first round of the women’s 1500 qualifying. Houlihan, who ran in the 5000 at the 2016 Olympics, won the women’s 1,500 at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., May 26 running in a then world-leading3 minutes 59.06 seconds, while upsetting Simpson who placed third-3:59.37.

 

Simpson has won seven career U.S. Outdoor national titles including the last four straight years in the 1,500.A three-time Olympian, Simpson became the first U.S. woman ever to earn a medal at the Olympics when she placed third in the 1500 at the 2016 Games in Rio DeJaneiro, Brazil. She won the gold medal at the 2011 World Outdoor Championships, while earning a silver medal in 2013.

 

Coburn, who will be seeking her seventh straight U.S. national title in the steeplechase dating back to 2011, set the American mark in the women’s steeplechase each of the last two years en route to becoming the first American woman to win the steeplechase at both the World Championships and Olympics At the 2017 World Championships in London, Coburn lowered here steeplechase mark to 9:-2.59, breaking her own American record of 9:07.63 set at the 2016 Olympics. She ranks No. 5 on the 2018 world list at 9:08.13.

 

Wilson, who won a silver medal in the 800 at the 2018 World Indoor Championships, ranks No. 2 on the 2018 world outdoor 800 list at 1:56.86 en route to a second—place finish at the Prefontaine Classic. May 26. Wilson has won six career U.S. national titles in the 800, including outdoor crowns in 2014 and 2017. She set the current American record of 1:55.61 at the 2017 Diamond League meet in Monaco.

 

First-round qualifying in both the men’s 800 and 1,500 feature all six runners who represented Team USA at the 2016 Olympics.

 

The men’s 1500 also includes Robby Andrewsand Ben Blankenship, who both competed at the 2016 Olympics, as well asLeo Manzanowho earned a silver medal in the 1500 at the 2012 London Olympics. Blankenship was fifth in the 1500 at the 2018 World Indoor Championships.

 

Clayton Murphy, who captured a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics,  joins fellow Olympic teammates Boris Berianand Charles Jockin the 800. But the trio will face strong challenges from Isaiah Harris(Penn State) whose time of 1:44.76 to win the NCAA Outdoor meet ranks No. 9 in the world as well as two-time USA Indoor champ Erik Sowinski.

 

The first round of the men’s 100 at 6:10 p.m. features four sprinters ranked among the top six on the 2018  world outdoor list along with current American record holder Tyson Gay(9.69).  Mike Rodgersand Isiah Young, rank No. 2  in the world at 9.92, while Ronnie Baker andNoah Lyles, are No. 5 on the world list at 9.93. Baker won the 60 at the 2018 World Indoor Championships. Lyles won the gold medal in the 100 at the 2016 World Junior Championships and he has run a world leading 19.69 in the 200 this season.

 

Aleia Hobbs, who won thee NCAA titles for LSU this past season, will lead the women’s sprinters in the 100 prelims. Hobbs won the 100 at the NCAA Outdoor meet after earlier anchoring the women’s 4×100 relay to a title. In March she tied the NCAA Indoor collegiate 60 record.

 

American record holders Kara Wingerand Keturah Orjiare favored in the women’s javelin and triple jump respectively.

 

Winger, a three-time Olympian will compete at 5 p.m., set the existing U.S. record of 218-8 in the 2010 USA Championships at Drake Stadium. She will be seeking her eighth national title in the event capturing championships in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

 

Orji, who set the American record of 48-3 ¼ in the triple jump at the 2016 Summer Olympics, will jump at 5:15 p.m. She closed out her collegiate career at Georgia by winning her fourth straight NCAA Outdoor triple jump title June 9. She also became just the third woman in NCAA Division I history to claim outdoor titles in the long jump and triple jump in the same season. Orji is ranked No. 5 in the world in 2018 in the triple jump, soaring 47-11 ¾.

 

Huddletook advantage of Almaz Ayana’s world-record pace to run an American record of 30:13.17 en route to a sixth-place finish in the 10,000 at the 2016 Olympics. The former 10-time NCAA All-American is aiming for her fourth straight national title in the 10,000. She was 11thin the 5,000 at the 2012 London Olympics and won both the 5,000 and 10,000 titles at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

 

The women’s discuss final at 2 p.m., features 2016 Olympians Whitney Ashleyand Kelsey Cardalong with 2012 Olympian Gia Lewis-Smallwood. Recent Arizona State graduate Maggie Ewenmade history by becoming just the fifth woman in NCAA Division I history to pick up outdoor titles in the shot put and discus in the same season, including being the first to do so since 2000. She captured the shot put title (62-10¾) just two days before winning the discus on her final throw (198-5). Ewen had already picked up the indoor shot put national title while setting collegiate records during the outdoor season in the hammer throw and the shot put.

 

Finals also will be held in the men’s 10,000-meter run (7:40 p.m.) featuring 2016 Olympian Shadrack Kipchirchir,—the top ranked American who owns the ninth fastest time in the world this season at 27:39.65 at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Stanford, Calif., May 3. Kipchirchir was ninth in the 10,000 at the 2017 World Outdoor Championships.

 

Look for 2016 Olympian Zachery Ziemek as the decathlon begins its opening day of competition.

 

The men’s 20k race walk will conclude Thursday’s opening session starting at 8:40 p.m.

Shelby Houlihan-SC East-Arizona St
©Latinos Corriendo-2018

“Heroism…” by Terry Herrsom For the Sioux City Journal

Shelby Houlihan-SC East-ASU ©Mike Mahon 2016

Shelby Houlihan-SC East-ASU
©Mike Mahon 2016

Following this past weekend’s USATF Indoor Nationals and Sioux City Native Shelby Houlihan won the 3K and the 1500m, the Sioux City Journal published the following article.  For the full article click here!

Feature photo: Shelby Houlihan-SC East-Arizona St©Latinos Corriendo 2018

On Monday, the day after winning national championships on consecutive days for a second year in a row, Shelby Houlihan might have felt like taking a holiday, kicking back and relaxing.

That’s not how it works for most world-class athletes and Houlihan is certainly in that elite category.

No loafing for this 2011 East High grad. To the contrary, she boarded a 6 a.m. flight in Albuquerque and jetted home to Portland, where she spent just enough time to drop off her bags, do a telephone interview with me and then headed out for her daily 80-minute run.

Eighty minutes a day gets her somewhere close to 80 miles each week and that’s the level she’s reached after stretching things out gradually over her first three-plus years as a professional athlete.

A 2016 Olympic finalist in the women’s 5,000 meters. Houlihan repeated Saturday as the 3,000-meter champion at the USA Track and Field Indoor Nationals. Then, on Sunday, she reigned for a second year in a row as the national champ in the 1,500.

Since track and field isn’t as familiar as football or baseball to most sports fans, let me point something out here: When it comes to women’s indoor track, there are only six individual running events in the USATF indoor meet. That means Shelby is now the two-time defending national champion in a third of those.

This particular weekend double will now also send her to Birmingham, England, for the IAAF World Indoor Championships the weekend after next (March 1-4).

And, by the way, contrary to her initial plans, Houlihan will be vying for medals in both of her events.

“Jerry (Schumacher) had told me I probably wouldn’t (run the 1,500 in Birmingham),’’ she said, referring to her highly acclaimed coach with the Portland-based Nike/Bowerman Track Club. “So, I was telling people I wasn’t. But then after I won, he came up to me and said, yeah, we’re going to do both.’’

Even though she’d also won both events at last year’s indoor nationals, Houlihan had focused most of her training on the 3,000. Two weekends ago in Boston she clocked an 8:36.01, marking the second fastest time ever by an American woman. Running at over 5,000 feet above sea level Saturday, the times were predictably slower and she won in 9:00.08.

“I knew my strength was in the 3K, so I was mostly just focusing on that,’’ she said. “Going into the (1,500) it was just kind of for fun. I didn’t even think I was going to win that, especially going into that final lap. I just felt I was too far back (fifth place with 200 meters remaining). But I just kind of kept driving forward and running as fast as I could. I was hoping I could just pick some places off and finish as high as I could and I actually ended up winning.’’

The time two weeks ago in Boston, of course, was more than 80 seconds faster than that and don’t forget these indoor tracks are nearly all 200-meter ovals, which means 15 laps, not 7.5. That’s 60 turns instead of 30 in an outdoor race.

Dylan Kalinay-S. Tama-Simpson
©Jim Kirby-2017

Next Level Iowa Podcast #654 January 24, 2018: Dylan Kalinay

Dylan Kalinay-S. Tama-Simpson ©Jim Kirby

Dylan Kalinay-S. Tama-Simpson
©Jim Kirby

On this edition of the Next Level Iowa Podcast we cover all of the latest indoor meet results featuring our Iowans and adopted Iowans, and we talk with Simpson Senior Dylan Kalinay-S. Tama-Simpson and his preparation and goals for this coming indoor and outdoor seasons.

Mike and I also consider some of the other “NEXTIE” award winners from 2017.  All this and more on the Next Level Iowa Podcast!

 

Alex Gouchenour-Logan Magnolia-Arkansas

Alex Gouchenour: 2017 NEXTIE AWARD WINNER-Multis!

Alex Gochenour-Logan Magnolia-Arkansas ©Darren Miller

Alex Gochenour-Logan Magnolia-Arkansas
©Darren Miller

Alex Gochenour, Logan Magnolia HS and U of Arkansas graduate led a USA 1-5 sweep of the Thorpe Cup Heptathlon.  Gochenour who has graduated and is competing professionally had a score of 5,898 in securing the win.

Kurtis Brondyke, Clinton HS and Central College, has also graduated from college and is training and coaching at Central Missouri.  Brondyke was 5th overall and the #2 American in the Thorpe Cup Decathlon.

The Thorpe Cup is an international track and field Combined Events competition between USA and Germany.  Teams are made up of up to seven men and seven women who compete in decathlon and heptathlon.

Read more: 2017 Thorpe Cup – USA vs Germany Combined Events – info/results – 07/29/17

Mike Jay
Phil Coppess-Oxford Junction
©Pioneer Press-www.twincities.com

Where Are They Now?: Phil Coppess

Phil Coppess-Oxford Junction ©NY Times

Phil Coppess-Oxford Junction
©NY Times

Phil Coppess

More often than not, when a track coach tells a young runner that he is “more fit for the marathon,” than a regular season track event, it is because the lad is a bit slow and the coach doesn’t want to hurt his feelings.

Feature photo: Twin Cities Pioneer Press, click here!

This was not the case when Coach Bill Kackley conveyed his opinion to a gangly, young distance runner by the name of Phil Coppess.

Coppess did not go out for track until his sophomore year in high school.   Despite the late start, he showed he had running and racing ability by winning 5 state titles, one coming in cross country and four in track, before graduating in 1972 from now defunct, Oxford Junction High School.   But, it was the talent he showed after reaching the age of 27 that shocked everyone; everyone but Phil Coppess.

Phil is a great story.    He has a storyline that is better than many movies about distance running that have ever hit the big screen.    He is a common ordinary factory worker now living in Clinton, Iowa who never gave up on his dream.

Coppess was the youngest of nine children from Oxford Junction in northeastern Iowa. As a high school runner, he was not especially fast but prevailed in distance runs, the longer the better, with remarkable endurance and sheer determination.

“Our family wasn’t rich,” he said. “If I went to college, it was going to have to be a full ride, and there were a lot of kids faster than me. I ran a couple track meets that summer after I graduated, in 1972, and that was about it. Said, guess I’m going to have to get a job.”

By 1974, Coppess was married and working the corn evaporator at the Archer Daniels Midland processing plant in Clinton. That year, he and his wife had their first child. There was no time for running, especially after a daughter was born in 1977 and another son in 1980.

But during a 1979 strike at ADM in Clinton, Coppess got a job at a nuclear plant in Cordova, Illinois, where he observed some of the office workers going for a run on their lunch hour.

Coppess thought, “I used to do that” and took up running again in 1980.  He trained hard while working in the factory and raising a family as a divorced father of three.  While training with the likes of Gregg Newell and Jim Ijams, his times dropped like a rock and the medals, trophies and records began to multiply.

In 1981 he won the Drake Relays Marathon, the Huntsville Alabama Marathon and the Chicago Marathon, in 2:16, beating two time Olympic Marathon medalist Frank Shorter along the way.

After Chicago, Shorter had this to say about Coppess:   “Phil may get mad at me for saying this, but he didn’t have a heck of a lot of talent, yet he ran nearly as fast as I did in the marathon.  Our PR’s are very close.  The reason is, he was willing to work, and that is what showed through in Phil”.

1985 was the magic year for the small town boy from northeast Iowa.  He ran over 40 races that year.  His times got better, at every distance, from the mile through the marathon.

Coppess had eventually designed a training regimen that dovetailed with his rotating shifts at ADM (a corn processing plant) in Clinton and his parenting responsibilities; he was awarded full custody of the children in a 1985 divorce. He ran 14 to 15 miles on work days, longer on his days off, carrying a palm-sized stopwatch to record each mile. “I didn’t think it was a good 20-miler unless I had gone under two hours,” he said. One day a week, he did a track workout, and on another, hills. Physical therapy consisted of weekly chiropractic adjustments.

He won the Lincoln Marathon, and a marathon in Auckland, New Zealand.  And 32 years later, Phil Coppess’ course records still stand.

In early October, 1985, he took a weekend off and flew to Minneapolis.  His parents made the five-and-a-half-hour drive with his three children.  Coppess was confident that he could break 2:11, at the Twin Cities Marathon , which he figured would be good enough for first place. As always, his strategy was simple: go out hard, a pace just under five minutes per mile, and keep it up for 26.2 miles. If others wanted to go with him, fine, and if they didn’t, that was fine, too.

On October 6, 1985, Phil, was on his way to setting the course record with a winning time of 2 hours 10 minutes and 5 seconds. The second-place finisher was three minutes behind.   Coppess’s time was the fastest by an American that year, and at the time, ranked him among the top 20 American marathoners ever, just ahead of Frank Shorter.  Track and Field News named him the US Marathoner of the year.  He was also selected American Road Runner of the Year by Road Runners Club of America.

Twin Cities timed the 30K and 20 mile splits in route.  Coppess’ 30K split was a world record time (stood for 20 years) and his 20 mile mark set a new American record (still stands).

Coppess is an Iowa road racing legend.  He became a fixture at the world renowned Bix 7, placing in the top 10 in 1981, 82, 83, 85 and 86.  He took fourth behind Rob DeCastella, Bill Rogers and Frank Shorter in 1982 and was third behind Mark Curp and Rodgers in 1986.  Six times he broke 35:00 at Bix.

Coppess says his best road race in Iowa was the 1985 Dam to Dam 20K in Des Moines where he set new PR’s for both the 10 mile and 20K.  Both 10K splits were under 30 minutes in route to his winning time of 59:23.

Some more of Phil Coppess’ Road PR’s:

10K-28:49, Mobile Alabama

7 Mile-33:29, Bix 7, Davenport, Iowa

10 Mile-47:23, Bobby Crim, Flint Michigan

20K-59:23, Dam to Dam, Des Moines, Iowa

Phil also holds the two fastest times for a marathon by a native Iowan: 2:10:05-Twin Cities and 2:11:34 in Auckland, New Zealand.

While he seemed unstoppable in races, by 1986 injuries did what competition couldn’t:  Slow him down.

Back problems came in 1987 and he was never the same after that, bringing his competitive running career to a halt in 1989.

Coppess quit at ADM in 1986 and now works as an Ultrasonic Inspector at Arconic (formerly Alcoa) in the Quad Cities.  He finished his BA, in Education, from Marycrest in Davenport, Iowa in 1990.

Phil got back into the road racing scene, albeit for a short time, when he reached “Masters Age Group” status .  He set the Iowa All Time Best masters mark for a road 8k when he ran 25:59 at the 5th Season 8K in Cedar Rapids, in 1995 at the age of 40.  His last race was in early 1997.

Phil Coppess was inducted into the Iowa Association of Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame in 2014.

Obsie Birru-Johnston-Grand View
©Doug Wells-2016

Obsie Making Her Name Known Out East

Obsie Birru-Johnston-Grand View ©Doug Wells

Obsie Birru-Johnston-Grand View
©Doug Wells

NE Distance website is centered in Rhode Island and whose mission is to promote and support post collegiate athletes and runners. Recently NE Distance published a story featuring Obsie Birru-Johnston-Grand View, introducing her to their subscribers.  While Obsie is well known and loved by all of us, those out east will soon fall in love with her as well.  Below is a portion of NE Distance’s article.  For the full article, click here! Feature photo ©Doug Wells -2016

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Obsie Birru joined the NE Distance Athlete-in-Residence program in August of 2017. Obsie, a 28 year old Ethiopian-born, American-raised, and self-proclaimed proud Iowa girl, comes to Providence directly from her hometown of Des Moines, IA, where she has been working as a Supporting Teacher in a kindergarten classroom for the last three years. It was while getting her degree in Health Promotions and Wellness Management at Grand View University where Obsie burst onto the running scene. By the time she graduated in 2012, she had become one of the most decorated NAIA athletes in history. During her time at Grand View, she was three-times named the National Runner of the Week, was an astounding eighteen-time All-American, and was a five-time National Champion in the 5,000m, 10,000m and marathon.

Obsie joins NE Distance with a desire to help NE Distance continue to pursue its unique dual mission. With three years of experience working with young children, she is eager to begin coaching at the middle school level. She looks forward to sharing her love of running and knowledge of the sport with both the youth athletes as well as the RI running community as a whole. Athletically, she is excited to train and compete alongside NE Distance’s Women’s Elite Team as she continues to chase down her running dreams.

Allyson Felix
©Jim Kirby

Drake Relay Alums Make Us Proud in London

Omar McLeod- Jamaica ©Jim Kirby

Omar McLeod- Jamaica
©Jim Kirby

With the 2017 IAAF Track & Field World Championships concluding this past weekend in London, the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee had alumni posting many outstanding medal winning performances to garner 10 gold, eight silver and 10 bronze medals during the event.  Individual gold medal winners who competed at the 2017 Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee included Kori Carter (400mH), Phyllis Francis (400m), Sam Kendricks (Pole Vault), Omar McLeod (110mH) and Brittney Reese (Long Jump).

Courtesy Drake Relays, click here! Feature photo: Allyson Felix ©Jim Kirby 2013

Overall, the United States set a team record for the most medals at the World Championships with 30 (10-gold, 11-silver, 9-bronze) while three-time Drake Relays champion Brittney Reese became the first woman to win four World long jump gold medals and only the second woman to win four golds in a single event (Valerie Adams, shot put).  Below is a listing of the medalists with their last appearance year at the Relays in parentheses.  Unless noted otherwise, athletes represented the United States.

Women

 

  • Shelby Houlihan-5K (2017 Bowerman Track Club)
  • Morolake Akinosun – Gold-4x100m Relay (2016-Texas)
  • Kori Carter – Gold-400m Hurdles (2017)
  • Michelle Carter – Bronze-Shot Put (2016)
  • Allyson Felix – Bronze-400m, Gold-4x100m Relay, Gold-4x400m Relay (2006)
  • Phyllis Francis – Gold-400m, Gold-4x400m Relay (2015)
  • Dawn Harper-Nelson – Silver-100m Hurdles (2017)
  • Shaunae Miller-Uibo (Bahamas) – Bronze-200m (2013-Georgia)
  • Sandi Morris – Silver-Pole Vault (2017)
  • Dalilah Muhammad – Silver-400m Hurdles (2016)
  • Brittney Reese – Gold-Long Jump (2017)
  • Yarisley Silva (Cuba) – Bronze-Pole Vault (2014)
  • Jenny Simpson – Silver-1500m (2017)
  • Ekaterini Stefanidi (Greece) – Gold-Pole Vault (2016)
  • Ristananna Tracey (Jamaica) – Bronze-400m Hurdles (2015)
  • Ajee Wilson – Bronze-800m (2015)

    Men

  • Will Claye – Silver-Triple Jump (2016)
  • Kerron Clement – Bronze-400m Hurdles (2016)
  • Sam Kendricks – Gold-Pole Vault (2017)
  • Renaud Lavillenie (France) – Bronze-Pole Vault (2015)
  • Jarrion Lawson – Silver-Long Jump (2015-Arkansas)
  • Wil London – Silver-4x400m Relay (2016-Baylor)
  • Omar McLeod – Gold-110m Hurdles (2017)
  • Gil Roberts – Silver-4x400m Relay (2015)
  • Mike Rodgers – Silver-4x100m Relay (2007)
  • Jarrin Solomon (Trinidad & Tobago) – Gold 4x400m Relay (2013)
  • Christian Taylor – Gold-Triple Jump (2017)
  • Rabah Yousif (Great Britain) – Bronze-4x400m Relay (2016)
  • Stipe Žunic (Croatia) – Bronze-Shot Put (2012-Florida)